dealing with the house in a divorce...

(26 Posts)
sailingmummy Sun 20-Jan-13 21:40:19

I am about to start divorce proceedings with my ex, and have been trying to work out the house thing. we have no savings, only the house and children to sort out.
What did you do with your house when you divorced? As far as I can see, I have two options -

1) Stay in the house - husband has to pay half of mortgage until children are a set age (they are currently 6 and 5), then I have to give him back equity when that point arrives.

or 2) sell the house - be forced to move to a smaller house in the next village, but be independent financially

The advantage of staying put is that it keeps us close to both my childrens friends and their school (which I do not want to take them away from, as it is one solid thing in their lives) and my friends, however, I am concerned at my unreliable husband not making his half of the mortgage payments. Also I would have to pay him back in years to come, but equally, I would feel isolated moving to the next village from me!

Finances wise - if I stay put, he has to pay towards the mortgage, which in the short term is better for me, but long term, he would get more equity (50/50), as at the moment, he is happy with a 70/30 split.
If I move to the next door village, my mortgage would be still about £1000 pcm, which is half of my salary.

What did you do and any suggestions/ things to do or not do?

FannyBazaar Sun 20-Jan-13 23:19:35

I bought my ex out on the house, he got his share of the equity less the value of his debts which had been added on to the mortgage. Buying him out meant I ended up with a mortgage based on something like 37 years and just over 5 times my income. I didn't think that sort of thing was possible but I got it. I actually paid much more each month than was calculated so I reduced the term and it's now 25 years, which is still a long time but I hope to reduce it again every few years.

I think I was very lucky because the house was bought 15 years ago and has increased massively in value so I have a low LTV rate which made the whole thing possible.

Ex had a bad financial record and our mortgage together was with one of those companies who will lend to people no banks will touch, so was at a higher interest rate. My own mortgage is with a bank. That fact gave me great excitement at first. A real bank.

My ex refused to pay a penny of the mortgage when he moved out despite the fact that I wasn't earning at the time, the mortgage was just over £1000 pcm then.

If he stopped paying his half could you pay the full mortgage you currently have? If he would get 30% equity now, can you buy him out? Add to mortgage, loan from parents etc

.... And you'd put clauses in the legal stuff abou. What would happen if he stopped paying

cestlavielife Sun 20-Jan-13 23:40:31

If he ever loses his job then what ?
Better to become independent financially if you can

RedHelenB Mon 21-Jan-13 11:44:52

Is he working now & what proportion of his salary is the mortgage?

RedHelenB Mon 21-Jan-13 11:46:00

BTW, mortgage lenders love teachers & when I was hardly working any hours at all & pg they lent to me. Child benefit & tax credits and child maintenance all counted as income.

iwantanafternoonnap Mon 21-Jan-13 13:30:17

I would be very careful because if he pays half the mortgage he could charge you rent on his half. My Ex tried to do this with me but I pointed out that he paid nothing towards the mortgage but his solicitor still said he could charge me rent as the house was not being made available to him.

Ex then threatened court to throw me and DS out unless I removed his name which I couldn't do at that point. He backed down eventually but only because he realised that he would probably lose in court.

Ours was a nasty split though and he a total twunt! All he was interested in was getting his name removed so he could buy anpther property with the woman he left me for and did not care that our DS would suffer in the process. I would try very hard to get a mortgage in your own name or at least try and pay it all yourself.

iwantanafternoonnap Mon 21-Jan-13 13:32:34

oh and I am a nurse, working fulltime and with a spotless credit record plus I have a lodger and I have struggled to get £120,000 mortgage on my own and this is with a nearly 75% LTV.

She70 Mon 21-Jan-13 13:48:58

Sounds like my situation is almost identical. I have a 5yr and 2yr old and separated about 6weeks before Xmas. No chance of reconciliation so my focus has been on securing the finances for me and the children.

My ex has agreed to a 70/30 split if we told now but even with s massive share of the equity I'd be hard pushed to find something reasonable on the area we live in so I'd gave to move. I am really reluctant to do this because of my 5yr olds school, friends etc. It feels like he has enough to deal with at the moment without contending with a house move and school move as well.

The other option is to stay in the house and split 50-50 when we sell in the future. This could be before youngest has finished full time education or when she finishes.

It is so tough. I am tempted to take the 70/30 and cut the financial ties but at the same time am trying to balance what is best for me and the dc at the moment. Given the split was unexpected and sudden I am not sure how much more upheaval I can take so although financially it might not be the best move, I've decided to put money aside and go with the emotional well being of me and the children and opt for the 50/50 split as and when in the future. At least for now we know where we will be living. I don't work so am reliant on my ex paying the mortgage until I can get a job but even when I do start working he is going to pay his share of the mortgage in addition to child maintenance.

I'm not sure there is a right or wrong answer here. I've just done what feels right for our situation at the moment. In an ideal world I'll be able to buy my ex out before youngest finishes school but as I've no idea what next week holds at the moment we will just have to see what the future brings!

RedHelenB Mon 21-Jan-13 15:51:25

She70 I really wouldn't bank on receiving his share of the mortgage for all the years.

She70 Mon 21-Jan-13 15:59:18

No I guess not although it is being written into the settlement so assume I can take him to court if he doesn't? Need to discuss that with my solicitor I think!

RedHelenB Mon 21-Jan-13 19:00:26

You can but all that costs money & if he hasn't got a job, or is financed by a girlfriend etc you won't see any money.

sailingmummy Tue 29-Jan-13 23:46:41

I think I am going to have to sell and move. If husband had to contribute to mortgage and CM, that would be over half of his salary - not leaving him enough to live off. At the moment, he has agreed to a 75/25 split, as the area we live in is very expensive and I need to stay in this area for my childrens school and my own job....I suggested this ratio to him as the children are going to live with me, and we need 3 bedrooms, whilst he really only needs 1 or 2. What do you reckon?!

She70 Wed 30-Jan-13 06:59:15

sailingmumm I have decided to sell too for very similar reasons and my ex has agreed to a 70/30 split so I can buy something in the same area. I don't work currently as been a sahm for the last 5+ years so now I need to get a job so I can top up the balance and get a small mortgage.

Its all so complicated isn't it?!

angelpinkcar Wed 30-Jan-13 16:02:53

Hi there, I am in the same postion and I feel some relief I am not on my own. I am so confused to what I should do. I amnot working but can go back to my old job as on a career break, incidentially I really don't want to go back. I went back to where I used to live recently to look at places to live for me and the DC's I felt physically sick not that its a horrible place total opposite but I left for a reason to move on and now I face the prospect of going back taking the DC's out of their school where they have settled really well. So many friends and family have tried to give advice but at the end of the day its our decision. I have been looking for work where I live but have only had one interview in about 12 months and didn't get that job. Its so daunting and depressing isn't it and so overwhelming I don't know about you but I keep taking 1 step forward hit a wall and then take three steps back

sailingmummy Sat 23-Feb-13 20:55:21

hmmm. House is going onto the market next week sad

I'm gutted that it is having to be like this, but my brother who luckily is a financial advisor, has said it would be better financially to be independent now, rather than owing ex husband loads of money in the future, closer to when I retire from working.

I went to see a couple of houses the other day - it's going to be painful moving from a lovely 3 bed period house with good garden to a small 3 bed with a postage stamp garden, but I'm trying to convince myself that I can make it nice and go as funky girly with the decorating as I like!

sailingmummy Sat 23-Feb-13 20:56:03

She70 and angelpinkcar, what have you decided to do?

sailingmummy Sat 23-Feb-13 20:56:41

How's it going?

emmab16 Sun 24-Feb-13 07:02:35

Just wanted to pop in & say hello , just read the thread & it must be so hard to have to sell up. My h has just moved it but i am hoping to scrape by staying in this house, at least for a few motns til i can decide what to do.

On a similar topic, how did you find out what a fair % split is??

WMDinthekitchen Sun 24-Feb-13 07:11:40

Sailing - I would go for the independence option as per your brother's advice. If you are financially tied to your ex, money issues abuse can start at any time especially if he needs to lavish money on a new love buy another house. You might win through that in the end but staying out of court and knowing exactly where you are financially is so important for stability for you and your DC. Good luck.

duffybeatmetoit Sun 24-Feb-13 08:36:04

I am slightly different in that the house has always been in my name and I've never had any contributions to the mortgage or running costs from H. He is lousy with money and struggles to get any kind of credit. He walked out after 4 years and looks to have hit the jackpot financially (although he will inevitably piss it up the wall within a short space of time)

As a result our 5 yr old and I will have to move from school, friends and the only home she has ever known to a crappy town, with bad schools and tiny house. Financial independence will come at a very high price.

purplewithred Sun 24-Feb-13 09:02:41

I have a friend who is now at the other end of this situation - she split from xdh many years ago but kept the house on a 50:50 basis until youngest dc was out of education. Youngest DC left college after AS and is now an apprentice, and xdh needs his 50% of the house value.

My friend is now left looking for a new home for herself and 2 fairly grown up dcs, none earning very much or with the prospect of earning more in the short term, with just 50% of the equity of her old house.

So my point is - whichever way you cut it, the time will come when your xdp will need his % of the house and that may well be a worse time to cut loose than now. And that assumes your xdh doesn't have a massive change in circumstances (loses job, has 5 more children) that severely impacts his ability to support you in the meantime.

I'd bite the bullet however hard it seems and go for independence.

Mags11 Sun 24-Feb-13 19:07:47

Sailingmummy - Not sure if its an option for you but my ex agreed to leave his equity in the house and I got a mortgage over 25 years in my name. I work part time and its not a small mortgage but I manage due to tax credits and maintenance payments.
He agreed that it was not good to move the kids - 4 and 2years at the time, and I agreed he could get his 'deposit' back when they left school. The solicitor set this up and included that the rate of inflation was used to calculate interest. This works out at about 5k over 13 years. May have to sell the house then - but who knows what will happen in the future, so I took this as my best option.
Good luck

Cupquake Fri 01-Mar-13 21:16:53

Just to go back on what Emma said, how do you decide what the fair split is? My exdh and I agreed on a 60 - 40 split but no Sam thinking should I ask for a 70 - 30?
I just don't know how I'm going to be able to afford to buy a place.

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